Desert Resort Gears Up for Busy Winter Season

November 17, 2011 by   - () Leave a Comment

Map of the Fountain of Youth Spa, Niland, Calif.

The Fountain of Youth Spa in Niland, Calif., is gearing up for a busy winter season with an open house this Saturday (Nov. 19.

The event will feature information on the resort’s amenities and activities as well as eight new homes that are available for sale or rent, according to a news release.

“People love our amenities and activities, and more and more snowbirds are staying with us from November through April or May,” said Jolene Wade, the resort’s managing partner.

Originally conceived as a snowbird RV resort with healing natural hot springs, the Fountain of Youth Spa has since become a diversified, year-round vacation resort with cottage rentals, vacation homes, and an increasing array of health and wellness services, including onsite hair and nail salons, massage  therapists, as well as therapeutic exercise classes, including water aerobics, tai chi, yoga and Zumba.

Some people even wind up buying vacation homes at the resort.

The resort’s activities are a key attraction, both for home buyers as well as RV enthusiasts from up north who spend the winter months enjoying Niland’s weather, which rivals any location in the desert Southwest.

Classes include painting, quilting, Spanish and computers, while various groups gather for bocce ball, horseshoes, hiking, line dancing and square dancing as well as cribbage, bingo, pinochle and Scrabble.

Special events also take place each week, including farmers markets, pancake breakfasts and potlucks, and the resort has an onsite cafe with friendly service and nightly specials.

Steve Staker, 45, who lives near Beaumont, said he frequently visits the resort during the fall and winter months with his wife, Paula, in their 33-foot motorhome. “We feel like we’ve gone somewhere out of state when we go there,” he said. “We like the activities, the friendly staff and the cleanliness of the resort.”


The natural hot springs that lie beneath the Fountain of Youth Spa have an alluring history, having been first discovered by workers building the All American Canal as they drilled for local sources of water to mix their cement.

At 137 degrees, the natural hot springs proved to be too hot and too full of minerals to be of immediate use for mixing cement. So they built settling ponds to cool the water and remove the excess minerals.

Another group of construction workers who were making improvements to Highway 111 rediscovered the hot springs and the ponds after World War II, and became the first to recognize the therapeutic and healing effects of the artesian mineral water.

Clyde Hays, a carpenter from Grants Pass, Ore., who worked winters in Brawley, eventually convinced J.T. Trily, a Brawley contractor, to build the Fountain of Youth Spa around the same well in the late 1950s. The park has since grown to become a popular vacation destination with park model cottage rentals as well as manufactured homes, which accommodate snowbirds as well as Southern California residents who don’t have an RV and are simply seeking a weekend escape, away from the hustle and bustle of city life.

“The growing array of activities, amenities and accommodations offered by the Fountain of Youth Spa really illustrate how RV resorts are broadening their business base and increasing their appeal beyond RV owners,” said Debbie Sipe, executive director of the California Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (CalARVC).

For more information about the Fountain of Youth Spa and its discount program, contact Jolene Wade at (619) 297-1490 and visit the resort’s website at


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